Iranian-Americans nurture new generations after revolution
Added 02-12-19 02:03:01am EST - “Minoo Sharifan came to the United States from Iran in the 1970s for graduate school, and like many others, wound up settling in America, starting a career and raising her family while a revolution upended her homeland and fractured…” - Washingtontimes.com
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IRVINE, Calif. (AP) - Minoo Sharifan came to the United States from Iran in the 1970s for graduate school, and like many others, wound up settling in America, starting a career and raising her family while a revolution upended her homeland and fractured relations with the U.S.
The two countries remain bitter adversaries. In his State of the Union address last week, President Donald Trump said Iran does “bad, bad things” and “threatens genocide against the Jewish people”; Iran’s foreign minister countered that the U.S. has backed “dictators, butchers and extremists.”
It’s against that tense backdrop that Sharifan and others from her generation seek to build a connection to their Iranian heritage and culture among their American children and grandchildren. Now 67, Sharifan oversees the Persian collection and programming for a library in Orange County, south of Los Angeles, that hosts a weekly story time for Iranian-American children that she began six years ago.
At a recent gathering, a dozen young children sat cross-legged on the floor, listening to a parent volunteer read the Farsi-language version of the storybook about “Elmer” the patchwork elephant. One girl performed a Persian dance for the group, and the children twirled scarves and sang in Farsi.
“For younger kids to see kids their age coming to the library and speak Farsi, it’s a good feeling for them and it makes me happy,” Sharifan said. “For us coming from another country, (a) sense of belonging to the group is very important.”
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